May 27, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Noteworthy Issues: The Amazing Spider-Man #101 (October, 1971)

Spidey has to deal with extra arms and a living vampire.

Well, I decided to keep going into the Roy Thomas era.  You know, for now.

Up first, a vampire in the October issue.

Issue:  The Amazing Spider-Man #101, October 1971

Writer:  Roy Thomas

Artist:  Gil Kane

Brought the Wooden Stake:  Jimmy Impossible

The Plot:  Spidey’s attempts to find a quiet place to lose his extra arms isn’t so quiet when Morbius shows up.

Commentary:  Hey!  I read this issue before!  During the brief period when I collected the old Marvel Tales title until I realized it was just reprints of old Amazing Spider-Man issues.  This was the first one I picked up, so I must not have been all that bright or something.

But this is the first time Roy Thomas gets a writer’s credit.  Stan gets his name first in the credit box as “editor” actually, and Roy seems to be copying Stan’s style a bit with this effort.  I’m not a huge Roy Thomas fan, but here it’s kinda like Stan never left.  Considering Stan left Roy on a cliffhanger where Peter suddenly has six arms, that makes sense.

Regardless, if a mysterious formula of some kind can cause Spider-Man to grow some extra arms, then another should make them…I dunno, fall off?  Recede into his body?  Split off and grow exact copies of Peter Parker?  Something!  Doesn’t matter because Peter needs to use science to lose them arms, especially since he’s not all that coordinated with using them yet.  He’s extra clumsy as he swings around, and even has to ride a train’s roof out to Long Island because God hates anyone who suddenly has to travel to Long Island…I mean, because that’s where Curt Connors’s beach house is, and Peter can pull a favor or two to get to use it, no questions asked.

Meanwhile, Morbius, given no real origin or backstory, is on a boat out to sea where he ends up getting extra pale after dark and then killing the crew to get his much-needed blood.  I can kinda dig this.  He’s still a bit mysterious, the death of a ship’s crew is right out of Dracula, and he comes across as almost pitiful when he isn’t looking for blood.  And since this universe runs off coincidence, he ends up flying to shore and hiding out in Curt Connors’s beach house’s attic.

Spidey can’t fight off Morbius with six arms that don’t all work right.  What’s a spider to do?  Well, he can have his worst nightmare happen when Doc Connors shows up to check in on Spidey and, seeing a vampire, gets all stressed out and turns into the Lizard, putting Spidey between two murderous foes who, if there’s any good news, are looking to mostly hurt each other for now.

Peter really shouldn’t just drink any mystery potions…

Grade:  A-